8.50 am - Meeting point at your accommodation in or near Bayeux
9.00am - Depart from Bayeux
- Stop at Merville Battery
- Visit Pegasus Bridge
- Stop at Sword Beach Sector
- Stop in Arromanches les Bains (free time for lunch)
- Visit Gold Beach Sector
- Visit Longues sur Mer Battery
5.00pm -Return to Bayeux
Embark on a vibrant excursion to the main British Forces D-Day sites!
Departing from Bayeux, this private tour from Bayeux will take you to the Normandy coastal battlefield grounds. On June 6, 1944, the allied troops landed on the Normandy beaches, marking the beginning of a fierce and deadly battle that would culminate in the liberation of France a few months later.
Pick up in Bayeux or surrounding area
First, we will come and pick you up directly at your accommodation in Bayeux or the surrounding area. Meet your English speaking guide/driver who will go over the itinerary & program of the day with you. As this is a private tour, your guide will be flexible and the tour will be adapted to your wishes in case you have specific requests and as long as the timing allows it.
However, please note that your guide knows the area inside out and will show you the most significant landmarks of the region. Below is a selection of the major sites linked to the British Forces on D-DAY that it will be possible to visit with your guide. For lunch and depending on the sites that you have chosen to visit, your tour guide will make appropriate suggestions or we can pre-arrange restaurant reservations for you.
Our travel advisors will design the best possible itinerary and guided tours, adapted to your wishes and that will respect the timing of the tour. Create your own personalized tour in Normandy on this full day landing beaches & sites sightseeing tour.
Selection of the main D-Day British Forces sites of Normandy
Main objective of the 6th British Airborne Division, the capture of the two bridges of the Canal of Caen and Orne River in Bénouville and Ranville was to secure the left flank of the invasion.
As part of operation Deadstick, the assault began on June 5th 1944 with Halifax bombers towing Horsa gliders in the night until they reached the town of Cabourg where they broke their trailer. The three gliders that had Pegasus Bridge as an objective landed only 50 meters away from the bridge. Both bridges were taken quite rapidly and the victory message "Ham and Jam" was sent to the Allied ships by traveling pigeon. Ham indicated that the British had seized both bridges while Jam indicated that both bridges were intact.
The junction with the troops that landed on June 6th took place at around 1.30pm. The French commandos led by Commandant Kieffer accompanied by British soldiers of the 1st Special Service arrived from Sword Beach. Lord Lovat, commander of the 1st Special Service Brigade, accompanied by his personal Piper Bill Millin, apologized to Lieutenant-Colonel for being late.The operation was a total succes even though two airborne soldiers died during the assault while 14 others were injured.
MERVILLE BATTERY MUSEUM
This fortified area of the German defence system along the Normandy coastline was composed of 4 steel reinforced casemates (concrete bunkers) with 100mm guns, a command bunker and ammuntition magazines. The battery was defended by a 20mm anti-aircraft gun, barbed wire obstacles, a minefield as well as an anti-tank ditch. By fear that the battery would be able to threaten the landing area of Sword Beach, it was decided that the Battery should be attacked during the night of June 5th so as to capture it before the landing took place. The task was given to the British 9th Parachute Battalion who landed on the zone just after midnight on June 6th. Out of more than 600 men parachuted, only 150 had arrived at the designated assembly point. After some fierce fighting, the battery was finaly captured before the landing of Sword beach took place.
One of the three D-Day landing beaches areas of the Anglo-Canadian troops, located east of Juno Beach, Sword Beach represents the eastern flanck of the Allied attack on the Normandy beaches. Troops that landed here include the British 8th Brigade and Commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade under the command of Lieutenant General John Crocker. The beach is cleared by noon which allows for reinforcements to access the landing area.
This landing area stretched from Longues-sur Mer to La Rivière, approximately 8 kilometers long (5 miles) and was the center beach of the five landing areas of the Normandy Invasion. The area was assigned to the British Second Army and the assault was carried out by the British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division. The main objectives of the Division were to divide the Caen-Bayeux road and take the port of Arromanches. Another important mission lay in the taking of the Longues-sur-Mer battery. By the evening of June 6th, the British forces had landed 25,000 men in the Gold Beach sector and penetrated 10 kilometers (6 miles) inland. The number of casualties reached 400.
Part of the Gold Beach landing area, Arromanches les Bains was a special location when it comes to D-Day. Chosen for its setting between two cliffs, it has always been known as a perfect location for anchorage especially in case of rough seas. The Allies made of Arromanches one of the locations where an artificial port, built in Great Britain, will be installed. This meant that no bombing or fighting could be made here so as to keep all the road infrastructure in perfect conditions. The regiment that was to capture Arromanches, the 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment, therefore landed in front of Asnelles and made their way westward. By 10.30pm all the pockets of resistance were destroyed and the village liberated. From then on, the first buildings of the artificial port arrive and the first unloadings begin on June 14th 1944.
LONGUES SUR MER
Longues sur Mer is the location of a coastal battery built by the Germans in 1943. Part of the German coastal defence system, the battery was a threat to the Normandy invasion being located in between the landing areas of Omaha beach and Gold beach. During the two weeks that preceeded the invasion, the allies dropped more than 1,500 bombs on the battery but the destruction remained limited. On D-Day, the battery will be at the center of a naval battle between British, French and U.S Battleships and German Gunners. After a number of hours of battle, air raids on June 7th, the battery is finally captured at noon of the same day by the British troops of the 2nd Devonshire Regiment, arriving from Gold Beach.